The Heterogeneous Multiple Sclerosis Lesion: How Can We Assess and Modify a Degenerating Lesion?

Olivia Ellen, Sining Ye, Danica Nheu, Mary Dass, Maurice Pagnin, Ezgi Ozturk, Paschalis Theotokis, Nikolaos Grigoriadis, Steven Petratos

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleResearchpeer-review


Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a heterogeneous disease of the central nervous system that is governed by neural tissue loss and dystrophy during its progressive phase, with complex reactive pathological cellular changes. The immune-mediated mechanisms that promulgate the demyelinating lesions during relapses of acute episodes are not characteristic of chronic lesions during progressive MS. This has limited our capacity to target the disease effectively as it evolves within the central nervous system white and gray matter, thereby leaving neurologists without effective options to manage individuals as they transition to a secondary progressive phase. The current review highlights the molecular and cellular sequelae that have been identified as cooperating with and/or contributing to neurodegeneration that characterizes individuals with progressive forms of MS. We emphasize the need for appropriate monitoring via known and novel molecular and imaging biomarkers that can accurately detect and predict progression for the purposes of newly designed clinical trials that can demonstrate the efficacy of neuroprotection and potentially neurorepair. To achieve neurorepair, we focus on the modifications required in the reactive cellular and extracellular milieu in order to enable endogenous cell growth as well as transplanted cells that can integrate and/or renew the degenerative MS plaque.

Original languageEnglish
Article number11112
Number of pages38
JournalInternational Journal of Molecular Sciences
Issue number13
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2023


  • biomarkers
  • imaging diagnostics
  • inflammation
  • macrophage
  • microglia
  • multiple sclerosis
  • myelination
  • oligodendrocyte

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